Sunday, May 20, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Thoughtful analysis of important cultural issues."

Your Top Creative Runs part 25

Written by rdrsfn82 on Friday, January 28 2011 and posted in Features
Seriously people? Really? This group features a popular look at superheroes from a political perspective, a relaunch of a classic team, and a book that I just do not understand why it's on the list at all, much less this high.
92. 67 points - Legion of Super Heroes (the Post Zero Hour team) (Waid)
#59 - #71legion-waid

Following the Zero Hour event, just about every character got a revamped origin to some degree and their series mostly went through some major changes. One of the books most affected by this was The Legion of Superheroes. With their continuity largely unchanged since Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour basically hit a giant reset button and the team was rebooted, starting a new continuity from scratch. The guy chosen to set this up was Mark Waid.(who shows up a few more times on this list).

While some of the heroes were given new names, such as Lightning Lad becoming Live Wire, and a spin-off book called Legionaires was created, the team also added many new members such as the alien teleporter named Gates and the speedster granddaughter of Barry Allen, XS, while other characters that had once been part of the Legion were given new roles, such as Tenzil Kem, previously a hero that became known as Matter Eater Lad, being recast as the team's chef.

This new continuity used the original series as a blueprint, following some of the relationships and adventures that transpired there, but in other ways diverged wildly. Characters that may have died, such as Ferro Lad, instead lived, and the histories of various characters were also radically different at times, again Ferro Lad now came from the 20th Century and had a totally different origin. The team was also not exactly sanctioned by the United Planets and instead had to earn their respect over the early issues of the series. So long time fans had a general idea of where things might go, but were still presented with various surprises along the way.

The series continued on for a while after Waid left, but eventually was replaced by the Legion Lost era written by DnA and seen earlier on this list.

91. 71 points - Ex Machina (Vaughn)
#1 - #50 (plus four specials)
exmachinaPublished by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint, Ex Machina is about a man named Mitchell Hundred who becomes the world's first and only superhero, and then retires to become mayor of New York City following the events of 9/11. The series features art by Tony Harris, and covers the first term in office in more or less real time. The series debuted in 2004, though it starts in 2001, and was published for six years until 2010, while the story goes from 2001 - 2007.

Mitchell Hundred was a civil engineer, but after being caught in an explosion gained the ability to communicate with and command technological devices like cars, guns, cell phones, TVs, and whatnot, but not simple devices like a bow and arrow. This ability doesn't always work for the best as sometimes the devices will mislead or even outright lie to Mitchell and won't necessarily do what they are told to do. Still, it gives him enough powers that he's able to become a superhero, using a jet pack to fly and fighting crime through the use of his powers and various devices he has created himself such as ray guns or taser gloves. He also gives a couple of devices that can neutralize his powers to two of his close friends that know his secret identity. Taking his name from a famous quote by Thomas Jefferson, Mitchell decides to call himself the Great Machine.

The series was born of Vaughn's frustration with the modern political leaders on both sides of the issues. Beyond the mystery of how Mitchell Hundred ended up with powers and the general political intrigue inherent in being mayor of a city, another part of the story was the ambiguous sexuality of Mitchell who may or may not be gay and avoids direct questions about his sexuality. The catalyst for Hundred becoming mayor was 9/11, only instead of playing out as it did in the real world, The Great Machine is able to save the day and stop the planes from hitting the Twin Towers. As a result of this action he becomes a huge hero to the people and is easily elected mayor.

90. 72 points - Justice Society of America (Johns)
#1 - #26
Seriously people? This is on the list? At first I thought this was the initial relaunch and I was going to say it's too low, but nope, this is the Lightning Saga/Kingdom Come crapfest that followed that up. Look, there's some decent stories here and some decent characters introduced, but the stories drag on way, way, way too long. The series is generally craptastic, and it's nowhere near the level of what came before. I just don't get you people.

In 2006, spinning out of the OYL event, the book was relaunched, Geoff Johns way, way, way over extended the roster, adding in new heroes all over the place and never giving them a chance to shine as much as they should, the team found out about Earth-2 where the heroes moved on, there was some Legion related nonsense, and then the Superman from Kingdom Come showed up and was followed by Magog and a general mess of a story that lasted for the rest of the book.

Look, if you want real info one everything that happened, go look it up yourself. It's amazing that this book is on this list and that it got this many votes. I honestly have no idea why anyone would vote for this pale imitation of the previous series. Seriously, this is just epic fail. This isn't the worst written book on the list, it's not unreadable, and in fact there's some fun stuff in here, but there is just not a single reason to have this on the list. It doesn't serve an important historical role, it's not even close to Johns' best work with these characters, there's no major event like the Death of Superman, the art is solid but not ground breaking like Infantino's Flash or McFarlane's Spider-Man, it's not a rotating group of legendary artists like RULK, and there's really just no reason to vote for this unless you made a list of nothing but books by Geoff Johns, and even then you could probably find a way to leave it off.

Let's just move on.

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